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Scenic Route is an odd one. With a decidedly indie and typical gorgeous RED camera feel (which, I’ve come to realise, is a thing), the movie takes place almost completely in the middle of a desert, starring mostly just the two main characters. I feel Scenic Route is one of those movies that you shouldn’t read too much about (and, please, avoid watching Trailers, as per usual), so I’ll keep this brief, too.

Conversations are at times hilarious, at times raw, deep and honest. While you need a moment to get into the characters as they start off rather dull, they quickly become interesting, pulling you into their conversation which slowly escalates as their situation worsens. Even though you know it’s at least somewhat dramatised, it at no point feels unrealistic.

The iMDB rating on this one isn’t very flattering, but I do recommend you take the hour-and-a-half to watch this one, it’s recommended.

7.5/10.

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Iri (이리) is a slow-paced, almost photo-like movie about agony, suffering and the apparent complete lack of human kindness in a small town that suffered a great tragedy many years ago. The end of the movie cuts to black with end credits slowly rolling by without any music or sound effect, very fitting to the entire mood of the movie.

Starting mid-way through, you sort of get the feeling a little too much bad stuff happens. The movie, too, has three separate instances of rape, making it more difficult for me to recommend this to others, especially as the story itself is already more of a “moment in the life of” rather than something that has a clear beginning, middle and end.

The cinematography is rather interesting. Rather than dynamic, moving scenes, most every scene is a (sometimes very) long take from a fixed position. At times, the camera makes a very slow 180 degree pan around, but not much more than that.

Acting, too, is very good. Not a moment did I get pulled out of the moment. The brother barely talks, and instead communicates almost completely through body movements, or the lack of them. His cropped up anger, frustration and hopelessness is expressed very well through this. As for the sister, her sometimes near expressionless face/pose, interestingly enough, expresses very much. It saddens you to look at her go through life almost like a stray cat, with the occasional people walking by figuratively kicking her, her brother included (perhaps less figuratively so, but I digress).

In the end, I enjoyed most parts of this movie, but it did put my patience to the test. Be ready to look at long scenes of people cleaning, walking, or simply sitting. Or, in short, life.

6.8/10.

iMDB | Hancinema

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Every so often you stumble across a movie that turns out to be far better than you anticipated. Veronika Decides To Die is one of those. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (The last time I saw her, she was stabbing long-teethed sun-haters for a living) and Jonathan Tucker and David Thewlis and a few others I didn’t really recognize. Both Sarah and Jonathan surprised me with very good acting, further emphasized by the mesmerizing filmography, similar in style to the brilliant Blindness (2008) and the belgium movie Blind (2007).

The movie starts without much introduction in Sarah’s home, her attempting suicide. For a moment it leaves you wondering why she tries, but the movie gives you an answer to that question soon enough, albeit without all too many words. Overall I must say the movie managed to answer all question that would come up at one point or another, which is very nice for a change.

I enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. The story was inspirational, the acting superb and the filmography breath-taking. There’s an underlaying message in this movie that I think everyone should be reminded of every now and then. Check out the movie, you won’t regret it.

UP IN THE AIR

A week or two ago I watched Up In The Air, a new movie starring George Clooney and a few others I haven’t heard of before (I sucketh with names). I knew little about this movie but figured it would be pretty clooney-esque, so I was readying myself for an evening of kinda-good-but-not-really-memorable funtainment. Turns out I was wrong.

Up In the Air is about Ryan Bingman (Clooney) who travels all over the country (by airplane, in case you didn’t figure that out by now ;-) to fire people. Companies that need to fire a bunch of people but don’t have the, ehm, cojones, to do it themselves, so they hire Ryan to do it for them.

Ryan lives a life most of us would find repulsive. He spends most of his days in airports, airplanes or hotels and loves every bit of it. He loves the structure and repetition in his life, like how people always great him the same way when checking in. While it sounds weird and shallow, it seems to make him happy.

When at one point Ryan is called in, things change a tad, though. Anna Kendrick (Natalie Keener), has been awfully creative while he was out doing his thing, convincing his boss of a ‘revolutionary’ way to optimize the company and –what else– reduce costs drastically; Fire people using long-distance, using webcams. Ouch.

Ryan obviously thinks this new method is anything but good, and ends up taking Anna along to let her experience what the business is all about. To her surprise it’s a whole lot more personal than she originally thought.

The movie had a similar mood to it as 500 days of summer. It was somewhat slow-paced but never made me feel bored. I enjoyed Clooney in this indie-like movie, and made me appreciate him more than I did before. Overall, I highly recommend you watch this movie, it’s entertaining, touching and helps you ask the right questions about what is important in your life.